Within the "My Experience" program in the Asharqia Chamber:
Al Bawardi: My father gave me the education, and I was not born with a gold spoon in my mouth
A member of the Shura Council and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Asharqia Chamber, businessman Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Bawardi, emphasized the importance of knowledge, judgment of reason, work according to capabilities, and humility in addition to observing God Almighty in everything to ensure success in the business world .. noting that the future is different from The present, and the past will not return, so we must work according to our own capabilities.
Al-Bawardi added during the "My Experience" program organized by the Young Businessmen Council in the Asharqia Chamber yesterday evening (Tuesday 11/24/2020) that as a human being, he loves knowledge and learning, he did not create a gold spoon in his mouth, but rather an experience that his father was his first teacher. He bequeathed his "religiosity, knowledge and reputation" ... adding that his practical life began immediately after his graduation from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (formerly Petroleum and Minerals) in 1980, and his graduation was at eight at night so that his shift began on the second day at seven in the morning. He worked as a translator for him during the entry of Korean companies to work on projects in the country.
In the meeting moderated by Turki Al-Rajhi, a member of the council, Al-Bawardi went on to say that the first job he worked in was a translation, as he worked on the telex, which is a transmission technique that precedes fax, which is a new process for him in those times, and it was a step after which computers were introduced In the company, he was the one who followed this step, which led to the transfer of the company to a wider world, but gradually.
In this regard, Al-Bawardi says: “If we talked about hardship, I - and the children of my generation - did not know the hardship that the early adopters, like the father and his generation, suffered from, for they have the precedence and superiority in everything. To the commercial centers in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Ahsa, as there were no ports or buses at the time, but rather transport was carried out by camels, and each journey took 18 days. The end of work, which starts from early in the morning until sunset, and no one complains about the lack of time, and this is what I witnessed and went through throughout my career. "
He reviewed some of the features of his father’s suffering, and their results were transmitted to him, saying that his father worked in trade in the forties and after entering the buses, he abandoned camels and moved passengers from outside Riyadh into him, and the roads were not paved, so the buses were broken and the company closed, and in the fifties, it was established. The "Canada Dry" Refreshments Corporation, which is the company that included the most well-known brand names, including Al-Rajhi, Al-Mojil, Al-Gosaibi, Al-Subaie, and others, formed a board of directors that did not meet once. The land that was purchased for 4 riyals was sold for 350 riyals.
It is noteworthy that in the sixties the company started importing household items from Italy, such as refrigerators and air conditioners (including Antar air conditioner), and televisions (the price was 2000 riyals, five people gathered to buy it), and this matter continued until the 1970s when Japanese goods entered as a competitor to hardship, so our trade in this stopped This is in addition to the trade-in iron and wood. Iron from India and wood from Austria via Beirut are emptied at the port of Khobar (as there was no port in the region in the sense of the word), and it was emptied manually, the cost increased according to the tides.
After he practically joined with his father, and the activities mentioned, he found himself in the best activity that he considered closest to his heart, which is the "aluminum smelter" which he personally supervised during the nineties, but he considered it one of the successful and failed experiences at the same time, as he says about him: He used to work with electricity and the tariff was in five-cent, which rose to 15 cents, which led to an increase in costs, so the switch was made to diesel, whose cost increased, and a liter became 15 cents after it was 12 cent. Environmentally friendly, then we went to crude oil, so the factory went as best as possible, and 98.5% of its production was for export to foreign markets, and its most prominent customers are Mercedes, Flex-Wag, and Mazda. Work continued until it stopped due to circumstances and the difficulty of importing returned aluminum.
The dialogue moved to talk about personal experiences and passing them on to new generations of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs. Al-Bawardi said: “We should all focus on our strengths. Each one of us should base his success on the fundamentals of his country, "explaining that crises and challenges continue for everyone on the ground. The company went through crises in 83, 87, 92, and 2001, 2016, and each crisis has its own circumstances and the results can be concluded. One should be appalled, and at the same time, he does not expect that a crisis will solve itself by itself. What is required of every businessman is to realize the problem and search for the necessary solutions to it. "
Al-Bawardi stressed that success at the present time is to follow the programs of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and not to tweet out of the flock, because the past will not return, and the market today is different from the market yesterday, so today we do not look to protect and work without competition, for this language has ended.
In this regard, he pointed out that problems and challenges are the destiny of life, and we have to read and increase the area of knowledge and learn from experiences, on the basis that the economic rules now recognized are the same in the former, but their formulations have changed, so what has changed is the term, but the basis remains As it is, and we have seen many investors worked in trade, then they moved to real estate, than stocks, and then returned to the property in a different way, so whoever has the ability to diversify avoids many problems, each sector raises the other, and with time ambition increases, and haste and arrogance occur What is required here are planning and permanent learning, and according to the father’s expression that he would have wished he had a built environment, the first was to work in it, and the second to learn through it. ”He noted the necessity for the reading and learning pattern to follow a comparative reading method. In the local domain only, but in the Gulf, Arab and international domains,
Al-Bawardi points out that within his many participations in a number of boards of directors he saw some differences between the members, as there are the aspirant, the silent, the dreamer and the quarrelsome, and each one offers his experience, and each member should benefit from the experiences of others, and all the wrong decisions only came as a result of lack of coordination between members.
On the principle of partnership with foreign investors, Al-Bawardi said: "A good step is to be achieved through which the transfer of expertise and technology is achieved, and we have in the experience of the deposit zone in King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam, where we imported devices from 4 international companies and we were able to succeed in a remarkable way. It should be completed and stopped, but the process should evolve and not stop. For example, our dependence on computers, is it correct to remain on the systems of the eighties and nineties ?!
And about the human resources management in the company, he said: I am looking for tender and enthusiasm, so you cannot dispense with the employees, even if you import the latest systems, perhaps here I remember the story of a security guard I saw in the Asharqia room, he asked me to mediate for him to change his daily shift in order to continue his studies. In the intermediate stage, I asked the company's resource department if they had a job for him, so he was contacted and he came to the position of a technical worker, headed five workers, and finished the middle, secondary, and university levels, and became an official in the company, then he resigned and he is now working for a prestigious company in Riyadh, This leads us to say that Saudization is not a problem. Rather, it is our problem. Saudization will take place if we continue with economic growth and multiple projects and businesses.
Regarding the values that the entrepreneur needs, he said that he must observe God in everything, fulfill the rights that entail him, know his capabilities and act according to them, rule the mind in everything, not arrogance, humility and work in everything as long as he gives him to experience.